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Midday Updates: Helm at 3C, Ericsson’s Hip, and Ouellet’s Hop

Stanley Cup Finals - Detroit Red Wings v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Six Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Ah, mid-September... the weather is still hot, the trees are still green, and the hockey news is starting to trickle in. The Wings are still holding informal skates, so we’ve got a spot for the diggers to congregate now. If you’re good at reading post titles, you’ll see we’ve got three tidbits for you today. Let’s get to it:

Ericsson’s Non-Surgical Adventure

So we’ve known about the hip issue for a while now. That’s not new information. We also knew that Ericsson didn’t want to have surgery. As far as I know though, this is the first I’ve seen confirmation that he honestly doesn’t want the surgery until after his career is over (whenever that is). It’s also an interesting tidbit on how long the team has been aware of the issue.

The thing that we don’t know is what exactly Ken Holland was told about how bad the hip impingement is before signing that six-year deal. The immediate knee jerk reaction to this is “I can’t believe Ken Holland gave a six-year contract to a 29-year old Jonathan Ericsson with a known hip impingement problem!”

Problem here is that you can cut off the last six words of that sentence without any trouble. It would be wonderful to hear more information from Holland and Ericsson on this, but there’s so much guesswork with what kind of risk this ever really presented, how much concern it caused, what the medical professionals had to say about the risks, and even which specific Ericsson injury is the cause of his downfall (I personally think the catastrophic finger injury he suffered in March of 2014 is a much bigger factor).

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Ericsson hasn’t lived up to his contract so his contract was a mistake. I guess it could be maddening, but I have real trouble telling a guy what kind of surgery he should or shouldn’t be getting for my entertainment if I don’t know anything about the risks associated with doing so.

Xavier Ouellet is Ready to Rock

MLive posted a 1:13 video of Mike Green’s little brother Xavier Ouellet talking about his plan to crack the Red Wings’ lineup this season. Head on over there to give it a watch.

The headline stresses the term “real opportunity” and you’ll see why in the video. It’s kind of lowkey passive-aggressive the way XO corrects himself to say he’s looking forward to a real opportunity. There’s also a nice bit in there about how the team already knows what he can do.

Just by describing it, I’m already making it sound more dramatic than it is, so please do watch for yourself. Overall I think Ouellet is coming across with the right amount of “saying the right thing” sprinkled in with a bit of cockiness needed to take an NHL job. In terms of him getting that spot, he certainly seems to be in prime position to grab the 7th spot, left open by Kyle Quincey’s departure. Ryan Sproul is likely his biggest contender and that guy still isn’t signed.

Helm Says He’s the 3C

The picture of the Wings’ lineup clarifies little-by-little and today we got this bit from Helm confirming that he’s likely out of the top six for the time being. I don’t know whether or not Sheahan has been told he’s a winger, but he did tell the press earlier that he’s ready and willing to take on whatever position he’s given.

Personally, I don’t mind Sheahan’s move to wing where it will presumably give him more opportunities to use his shot while also giving Helm more opportunity to use his speed. This gives a guy who should be a better finisher a role for that and a guy who isn’t a very good finisher more-limited responsibility for doing so. My only concern here is that since we pretty well know Luke Glendening is going to be the 4C, it seems much less likely that Andreas Athanasiou is in the current plans (or, if he is in the plans, less likely that he’ll be playing center like he should be).

Of course, this presumes Helm and Sheahan will be on the same line. I think it makes sense, but hey I’m not the guy with the clipboard.